Trading 101 Trading 101: Trading vs. Investing Published 1 year ago on April 12, 2017 By Mate Cser The Money Makers Club now has 6 of 15 available seats. Learn more here! A historic debate without a real purpose. Those who deal with financial markets professionally more often than not can be put into one of two categories: Traders and Investors. The main difference in the approach of the two groups is time-frame that they focus on. Traders deal with short-term fluctuations in the market, while investors tend to focus on long-term returns, through holding positions for years. This difference leads to a certain, mostly unnecessary, ideological stand-off between traders and investors. Several value focused players simply don’t except that consistent returns can be achieved through short-term trading, while traders often think that holding on to positions through bull markets and bear markets is a waste of resources and profits. On an interesting note, some old-school economists ridicule both camps with the simple, yet powerful “rule” that it’s impossible to beat the market, as financial markets are perfect discounting mechanisms, and the returns of the likes of Warren Buffet or Stan Druckenmiller (and countless others) are the product of pure luck. The similarities The two approaches have way more in common than most investors or traders realize. First and foremost, both camps use the assumption that you actually can achieve excess returns by analyzing financial markets and financial assets. This means that markets are not “perfect” and irrationality is common. [ecko_annotated header=”Short-term vs. long-term” annotation=””] [/ecko_annotated] Without going into academic details, this has everything to do with the psychology of groups, investors tendency to act emotionally (fear and greed…), and the huge size of some of the players (banks, pension funds, insurance companies, and other institutions) that brings the real world far from the perfect environment of economic models. When you learn to trade successfully or learn how to pick undervalued companies, you simply acquire skills that the masses don’t have, while taking advantage of the flexibility of being an individual investor with a relatively small amount of capital. Another important similarity is the need for discipline. If you are a value investor and you have to be ready to buy stocks (or any other asset) in the time of crisis and market panic (when the there is blood on the street…). You also have to endure losses, should the market move against you; in fact, if you are confident in your analysis, you should buy more, as your choice of investment just got even cheaper. When trading, you will have to be able to take small losses and let your winners run without going against your trading plan, or leaving yourself to the hope of “it will come back”. The Differences The real difference between trading and investing is in the way of looking at assets. For a trader every financial market is an opportunity; although lot of traders specialize in certain markets, the principles of trading can be applied to every traded asset. For example, the Japanese candlestick method, which is widely used in stock trading even today, was developed by rice traders several hundreds of years ago. An investor, on the other hand, has to be familiar with the assets fundamentals, the business behind a stock, the supply-demand balance of a commodity, the macro situation of a currency and so on… Otherwise, calculating the value of a given asset is not possible. This primary difference leads to the stark contrast between the methods of the two approaches. While a trader might analyze the price chart, the order book, market statistics, and various indicators, an investor will look for clues in the financial statements of a company, the structure of a countries economy, demographic trends, and countless other fundamental measures. The Synergies In this debate, those who are new to the world of financial markets and investments, have a distinctive advantage. What is that? Well, of course, it is the ability to realize that ignoring trading as an investor or investing as a trader has no point. Who would deny that buying a cheap company that will provide dividends for the next 20 years is a great thing? Also, who would say that a high probability technical entry point that could lead to lofty gains in a matter of days is a bad opportunity? The answer to both questions is easy—those who already built up a bias towards one of the approaches. Don’t be among them, and use both trading and investing to reach your financial goals. Some of the most successful investors (or traders) use some sort of a mix of the two analysis methods. It makes sense too, knowing the fundamental pressures of a given market could boost your trading returns, while timing your entry into a promising investment position might provide significant extra gains to you. Keep an Open Mind but Always Know What You Are Doing The takeaway is that as you progress as both a trader and an investor, you should be able to harvest the skill sets of both approaches without having to choose between them. That said, there are certain dangers of applying different sets of rules at the same time. Mixing up trading and investing in a given position often leads to heavy losses. For example, if you enter a position with a trading setup, with a given stop-loss level and the asset moves against you, removing your stop-loss order “Because it will be a good investment!!” is simply rationalizing a move against your trading plan. Don’t give us wrong, you might get lucky, but odds are that you will end up with losses in the long-run because of these decisions. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with letting a winning trading position run, maybe after exiting a part of the original position, if it’s in line with your investment plan (think position sizing and portfolio weights). That, of course, implies that you did your homework regarding the asset as an investor before you started trading. We will revisit this very lucrative opportunity (among many others) when we dive deep into investment strategies, but for now just remember that with conscious planning and good execution, the two approaches can easily work hand-in-hand, helping you in boosting your returns and significantly reducing your downside risks. A Final Word on Passive Investing These days, after 8-years of blatant central bank intervention, the financial world is all about the success of passive investments, which are often confused with value investing. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Passive investment is something totally different, as it means that you simply follow the market rather than choosing the most promising assets. If you truly want to hack the system you have to look past the temporary supremacy of passive strategies, as it can pass without any warning. Taking the decisions in your hand and learning to use just the right trading and investment tools will help you succeed in any environment. Previous article: Trends and a Basic Trend Following Strategy Next article: Trend Analysis with Basic Charting Tools Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink. Rate this post: Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way. (1 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)You need to be a registered member to rate this. Loading... Mate Cser 4.6 stars on average, based on 293 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market. Follow @HackedCom Feedback or Requests? Related Topics: Up Next Trading 101: Trend Analysis with Basic Charting Tools Don't Miss Trading 101: Trends and a Basic Trend Following Strategy You may like Click to comment You must be logged in to post a comment Login Leave a Reply Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment. Trading 101 Trading 101: 4 Reliable Chart Patterns in Crypto Trading Published 2 weeks ago on July 3, 2018 By Fredrik Vold The Money Makers Club now has 6 of 15 available seats. Learn more here! In our previous piece on chart patterns, we pointed out that the way to use patterns is to judge probabilities that a certain move will happen rather than to view them as some holy grail in the market (which unfortunately doesn’t exist to my knowledge). Although they aren’t holy grails, chart patterns are some of the best tools we can use to trade the markets with a surprising degree of accuracy. For example, some estimate that a well-known pattern like the head & shoulders have an accuracy of more than 80% when it is complete. Very few indicators can match that! In this article, we’ll go over the 4 best chart patterns to use in crypto trading, teach you how to spot them in the charts, and show you how to trade them. 1. Head & shoulders pattern Since I already singled out the head & shoulders as the most accurate pattern, let’s start with this classic chart pattern that most people have heard about and probably have an idea what should look like. The head & shoulders pattern generally signals a reversal in the market, as it is essentially a failed attempt of a trend to move higher. As we know, an uptrend is defined as a series of higher highs and higher lows, but in the case of the head & shoulder, the last trend wave fails at making a higher high and higher low, and a new downtrend is initiated. The opposite pattern, known as an inverse head & shoulder, signals a shift from a downtrend to an uptrend. Since the head & shoulder is so well-known by now, and the logic is based on simple trend trading, it is often considered to be the most reliable pattern in trading. It can often be easier to spot on a line chart as it can help you filter out all the clutter otherwise found on candlestick charts. 2. Bull flag This is a continuation pattern and is also considered one of the most reliable bullish patterns we have. Sometimes also called a pennant or a wedge, these names all essentially refer to the same thing. The bull flag is formed when price enters a consolidation phase following a strong uptrend. What really happens when price is consolidating is that the market is gathering momentum for the next burst up. It is a natural part of a trend where those who have been with the trend from the beginning are taking the opportunity to realize some of their profits, while new traders are entering the market and positioning themselves for the next run-up in prices. 3. Cup and handle First introduced in William O’Neil’s book How to Make Money in Stocks, the cup and handle pattern is a bullish chart pattern that is very well-known in the stock market, but also appears to work well in other markets. According to O’Neil, the pattern should span a period of 1 to 6 months in the stock market. In crypto, where everything moves faster, this period can safely be cut in half. For the pattern to be more reliable, we would ideally want to see a significant rise in trading volume near the end of the handle as price begins to rise. A buy order should be entered as price breaks above the high made by the right side of the cup. The logic behind the pattern is the same as for the head & shoulder and trend waves: the cup represents the bottom in the market and the handle creates a higher low, which by definition means that an uptrend has started. 4. Rectangle The rectangle is a similar pattern to the bull flag and trading channels, where price appears to be “stuck” between two imaginary lines on the chart. The more touches we have between these outer lines and the price, the more reliable the pattern is considered to be. The rectangle is a trend continuation pattern, and often becomes a waiting game for traders since it is difficult to tell exactly when the price will break out of the pattern. However, the pattern is fairly reliable at predicting the direction price will break out in. The rectangle can be either bullish or bearish, depending on the direction of the preceding trend. The pattern can be traded either by placing an order when price is close to the lower end of the rectangle with a stop just below the lower line and then waiting for price to break out. Alternatively, you can place a buy order just above the upper end of the rectangle in hopes of catching the trade as the price breaks out. The danger with the last option is that fake-outs where price spikes up just to fall back down do occur quite frequently. As always in trading, taking a slightly more conservative approach may serve you well over the long-term. Featured image from Pixabay. Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink. Rate this post: Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way. (5 votes, average: 4.20 out of 5)You need to be a registered member to rate this. Loading... Fredrik Vold 4.3 stars on average, based on 37 rated postsFredrik Vold is an entrepreneur, financial writer, and technical analysis enthusiast. He has been working and traveling in Asia for several years, and is currently based out of Beijing, China. He closely follows stocks, forex and cryptocurrencies, and is always looking for the next great alternative investment opportunity. Follow @HackedCom Feedback or Requests? Continue Reading Trading 101 Lessons from The Turtle Traders Published 3 weeks ago on June 26, 2018 By Fredrik Vold The Money Makers Club now has 6 of 15 available seats. Learn more here! For those of you who haven’t heard about the so-called turtle traders before, I’ll give you a brief recap here: “The turtles” were a group of laymen traders who were chosen more or less randomly to be coached by two of the pioneers in trend-following trading; Richard Dennis and William Eckhardt. While Dennis, who had already made more than $100 million in the markets, were convinced that anyone could learn to trade, Eckhardt argued that Dennis was a gifted trader and that it would be extremely difficult for someone else to replicate his success. Unable to come to an agreement, the two men figured that the only way to settle the dispute would be to conduct an experiment where they would teach ordinary people their own trading system, and then measure the results. As the story goes, the turtles became hugely successful, and Dennis was proven right. Their story became known to world mainly through Michael Covel’s books Trend Following and The Complete Turtle Trader, where he shared some previously unknown details about the very simple trading strategies and methods used by “the turtles.” Although the turtle experiment took place back in the early 1980s, the lessons learned from the experiment are as valid in today’s crypto market as they were in the commodities market Eckhardt and Dennis were trading in back then. In this post, I therefore wanted to share some of methods used by the turtles that can hopefully help you improve your own trading performance as well. If you are interested in learning more about the methods the turtles used, I recommend reading Covel’s book to get the full story. ATR as stop-loss Using the Average True Range (ATR) indicator as a trailing stop-loss is something I learned from Covel’s book about trend following and that I’ve used successfully over the years, as I wrote about in another post about a trend following trading strategy. Generally, the idea of using trailing stops in trading is that it allows you to ride the trend for longer, without taking on unnecessary risk. It is also in the very essence of trend following trading that traders should not try to predict where a trend will start or stop, but instead simply react to what the price is telling them. In this context, if the price breaks through the ATR line you have drawn up on the chart, it is telling you that the trend has ended and it is time to get out of the trade. The ATR is calculated based on the volatility of the asset, which means that perfectly normal market movements will be classified as noise, and only extraordinary movements to either side will lead to price breaking through the ATR line. TradingView has a very useful built-in indicator for using the ATR as a trailing stop called “ATR Stops.” Maximum 2% risk on each trade Since the turtles used the ATR as their stop-loss, the risk in terms of pips on each trade would naturally vary depending on the asset they traded. However, by adjusting their position size, they still managed to keep their risk at no more than 2% of their trading account on any one trade. Pyramiding Pyramiding is the concept of adding to a winning trade as time passes. This is pretty much the opposite of conventional value-based investing wisdom, where it is usually preached to buy low and sell high. The turtle traders, on the other hand, were not afraid to buy high and sell when things were moving against them (buy high, sell low). The turtle traders usually didn’t move in with the full position size that their risk management allowed on the first order, but would instead spread out their orders and buy more as the trade moved in their favor. For example, they would enter an order with a position size that kept their risk at 0.5% of their capital as a trend started to form, and then enter new orders as the trend continued until they reached the 2% risk that their system allowed for. This protected their downside if the trade moved against them from the start while at the same time enabled them to ride the trends until the end. Reduce risk during losing streaks The turtles were very aware of the emotional drawdown that follows a loss in the market, and they understood that because of this, losses tend to follow each other and create losing streaks from which traders sometimes never recover. Because of this, Dennis and Eckhardt introduced a rule saying that if an account is down by 10%, the trader must adjust his risk as if he has lost 20%. With a smaller trading account left, the trader would then be forced to reduce his risk on each trade in order to stay within the maximum 2% risk allowed on each trade. Not only did this save the turtle traders’ trading capital, but it saved their emotional capital as well. Keep it simple Lastly, it is important to remember that the exact trading system the turtles used was relatively simple and straightforward. Trend following trading is often like this, and it has been proven over and over again that simple and robust systems beats complicated strategies. As Richard Dennis was quoted as saying in the Market Wizards book: “I always say that you could publish my trading rules in the newspaper and no one will follow them. The key is consistency and discipline. Almost anybody can make up a list of rules that are 80% as good as what we taught our people. What they couldn’t do is give them the confidence to stick with those rules even when things are going bad.” Featured image from Pixabay. Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink. Rate this post: Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way. (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)You need to be a registered member to rate this. Loading... Fredrik Vold 4.3 stars on average, based on 37 rated postsFredrik Vold is an entrepreneur, financial writer, and technical analysis enthusiast. He has been working and traveling in Asia for several years, and is currently based out of Beijing, China. He closely follows stocks, forex and cryptocurrencies, and is always looking for the next great alternative investment opportunity. Follow @HackedCom Feedback or Requests? Continue Reading Trading 101 Trading 101: Determining and Trading Trend Strength Published 4 weeks ago on June 22, 2018 By Fredrik Vold The Money Makers Club now has 6 of 15 available seats. Learn more here! Trend-following trading remains the most popular approach to trading in the retail segment, both in crypto and other markets. However, before taking positions in the direction of a trend, it is crucial to determine if the trend is gaining or losing strength. As trend traders, we need to make sure we are only taking trades in trends that are building up, and not those that are fading. While we have covered the basics of trend-following trading in the past, and also revealed several trend-following strategies, we will here focus on how you can determine if a trend is worth trading, using both systematic and discretionary tools. Trend waves and pullbacks Studying trend waves and pullbacks during a trend forms the basis of a discretionary approach to determining trend strength. In a trending market, small pullbacks signal strength in the trend. If each pullback is getting increasingly smaller as the trend continues, we can say that the trend is picking up momentum. Another thing we often see in strong bullish trends in that the pullback is not really a pullback, but rather a sideways consolidation of the price. This indicates that bulls are strongly in control of the market, buying up even the smallest dip in prices. On the other hand, as pullbacks get larger and occur more frequently, we can take it as a sign that the trend is losing momentum and the price may reverse into the opposite direction soon. Moving Averages Moving Averages are probably some of the best-known tools for trend traders, and for good reason. They are incredibly simple to use, and can provide powerful signals in almost all markets. The most common way to determine trend strength with Moving Averages is to apply two Moving Average lines to the chart; one slower and one faster. For example, combining the 20 and 50 period Moving Averages is a common strategy among swing traders in both forex, stocks, and crypto (the lower the period setting of the Moving Average is, the faster it reacts to changes in the price). In a strong uptrend, we should have the faster moving average staying consistently above the slower Moving Average. If the distance between the two moving average lines grows, it means that the trend is gaining momentum, and if the distance between them shrinks, the trend is losing momentum. If the two lines cross over each other, this is often taken as a sign that the trend is about to reverse. Many successful trend-following strategies follow the simple logic of buying an asset when the faster Moving Average crosses over the slower one, and selling an asset when the slower Moving Average crosses over the faster one. Price rejection What we call rejection of higher or lower prices in technical analysis is most easily spotted using traditional candlestick charts and looking for long wicks sticking out either above or below the “body” of the candles, as in the screenshot below. In this chart, we can clearly see that we had a strong bullish trend and that the price attempted to extent the trend further, but repeatedly got rejected by the market. After four attempts at going higher, this market lost all bullishness and went into an extended downtrend. Relative Strength Index (RSI) As the name implies, RSI is an indicator that measures strength. In just the same way as we define an uptrend in price as a series of higher lows and higher highs, the RSI line should also make higher lows and higher highs when the market is trending up. In non-trending (range-bound) markets, the RSI generally moves sideways and stays between readings of 30 and 70. As trends come to an end, we sometimes see divergences between the trend of the RSI and the price itself. For example, price may be making a new higher high, while the RSI line fails at making a new high, or even makes a new lower high, as we have two examples of in the screenshot below: Average Directional Index (ADX) This is the classic trend indicator that many traders still use. The indicator consists of a red line and a green line and it basically says that a green line above a red line means we are in an uptrend. In the opposite case, a red line above a green line would mean that we are in a downtrend. If the two lines are close together it means that the market is not clearly trending, but rather stuck in a range. Trend-following strategies sometimes make use of the ADX indicator in combination with Moving Averages to find strong price trends to ride. The ADX could then help determine the strength of the trend while for example cross-overs of two Moving Averages could serve as entry and exit points. Which one should you use? Perhaps unfortunately, which specific indicator to use in your trend-following trading really comes down to personal preferences. There is no right or wrong indicator to use, nor is there any right or wrong way to combine indicators and create your own trading strategy. That said, most traders try to avoid combining indicators that are measuring the same thing. For example, ADX, Moving Averages and MACD are all considered trend indicators, while RSI and Stochastic are considered momentum indicators. In other words, you could combine Moving Averages and RSI, but should avoid combining Moving Averages and ADX with each other. Experimentation is also fine, but instead of trying to learn how to use lots of different indicators, a better strategy is generally to use a few and become an expert at them. They are all powerful in their own way, it just comes down to the trader to master them. Featured image from Pixabay. Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink. Rate this post: Important for improving the service. Please add a comment in the comment field below explaining what you rated and why you gave it that rate. Failed Trade Recommendations should not be rated as that is considered a failure either way. (3 votes, average: 3.33 out of 5)You need to be a registered member to rate this. Loading... Fredrik Vold 4.3 stars on average, based on 37 rated postsFredrik Vold is an entrepreneur, financial writer, and technical analysis enthusiast. He has been working and traveling in Asia for several years, and is currently based out of Beijing, China. 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